What is C Diff?

Our household has recently experienced C. Diff (also known as Clostridium difficile colitis) and it is a huge pain in the butt… figuratively as well as literally.

My 6 year old son was recently diagnosed with C. Diff and it’s a Colon Infection. His symptoms were irregular fevers, most of the time there was no fever but his condition was pretty mild since we caught it early on. He had uncontrollable diarrhea for a few days over Thanksgiving break and I assumed it was from all the food. . Turns out I was wrong.

Over the next few days after Thanksgiving, my son complained of a stomach ache. The next day I asked more specific questions since it wasn’t going away and it was getting worse. I checked his fever, no fever, he felt nauseous but never threw up, still had bowel troubles and couldn’t make it to the bathroom. Eventually he pointed to his bellybutton and said the pain was there. I said, “a sharp pain?” he said no. “Do you feel like you’ll throw up pain?” he said no. “Does it feel like your muscles are tight pain?” he said sort of.

I had no idea. He didn’t have a runny nose or cough, and the fever was irregular. So Tuesday we went into the ER and had him checked (our local convenient care doesn’t accept abdomen pain for liability reasons so we had to go to the ER).

Our physician briefly checked him and wanted a stool sample but figured it was nothing to be concerned and to go home and wait for that stool sample. Well, Elyjah then had a spike in fever suddenly that caught his attention and with all the diarrhea… we didn’t have to wait long for that sample either.

The physician assumed colitis or enteritis, but he tested positive for C. Diff and everyone was shocked and I never heard of it other than a brief passing in my medical terminology classes.

It’s a bacterial infection of the colon, mainly found in healthcare facilities and it can only infect the host if they consume the fecal bacteria… it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat feces.

Example: An individual that is infected goes to the bathroom (#2) and gets the fecal on their hands…. they touch the flush handle, sink handles, door knobs, LEAVE WITHOUT WASHING (BIG NO NO), then continue touching surfaces… another individual (like my son) goes and touches one of these surfaces, and then, for whatever reason, put his hands in his mouth. The bacteria has to survive through your digestive system, making it to the colon area to infect it. Then inevitably leading to the symptoms my son had, described earlier in this article.

From the sounds of it, my sons conditions were mild compared to others. From what I’ve read, if this condition goes untreated, people have been known to have fatalities within a month… that’s scary. So I’m glad I took him in to say the least.

It is a highly contagious infection. Wash your hands after every bathroom use and before eating. If you know someone is infected in your home, you will have to bleach your whole house. Bleach is the only thing that kills the spores that grow on surfaces…. I know… HUGE pain in the butt. Every time he uses the bathroom, I followed him, disinfected everything he could of possibly touched, during and after use.

Here are some items I bought that worked for my deep cleaning process.

The antibiotics that were prescribed to him were for 10 days and 4 times a day. We chose to stay in the home and not go anywhere until he had solid bowels and could control them and that took us almost a week to get to that point.

List of items to disinfect

  • Light switches
  • Toys (even legos)
  • Door handles and knobs
  • Buttons on printers, tv’s etc. (Because everything they’ve touched…. you have touched… and that a lot)
  • Remote controllers, consoles, extra equipment
  • Keyboards
  • Mouses
  • Crayons, Pens, Markets, Pencils, Erasers
  • I threw out and replaced toothbrushes, floss sticks, shower curtain liners and shower curtains (Anything that can’t be saved and cheaply replaceable)
  • Phones, all of them
  • Tablets
  • Headphones
  • ALL of my dishes, bakewear, cookwear and silverwear (bleach dipped in water bleach solution then into the dishwasher)
  • The fridge front and handles
  • showers, knobs, handles, nozzles
  • My glasses… I wear on my face
  • Cupboards
  • Coffee pot and unit
  • Pen and pencil holders
  • I dumped all my coins in my coffee can in bleach and water solution…..yup
  • My wallet, inside and outside
  • All my cards in my wallet
  • Every surface
  • Bleached and Water solutions ALL of my floors (I have no carpet… thank god)
  • Hand railings
  • Inside of your car, steering wheel, handles in and out, center console, shifter sticks, touch screens, knobs, EVERYTHING!

Thank you for reading! I hoped this helped a little in your germ battle redemption. If you have any questions I’ll answer them best I can. Note: I am not a healthcare professional, just a single mom with 2 kiddos living through experience.

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